Wednesday, November 14, 2018

FACEBOOK censors again!

Andre Damon (WSWS) reports:

On Monday, Facebook removed a post on Sri Lanka by the World Socialist Web Site’s official Tamil-language Facebook page. The alleged reason was violation of unspecified restrictions in Facebook’s “community standards,” which is no explanation at all.
The Tamil language, spoken by 74 million people, is the language of the ethnic Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and South India, as well as a large global diaspora.
The move is the latest in the crackdown on left-wing, anti-war and socialist organizations by US-based technology monopolies including Google, Facebook and Twitter. As these companies integrate themselves ever more closely into the American state apparatus, they are increasingly weaponized to promote US imperialist aims all over the world. At the center of this drive is the suppression of socialist political viewpoints.
This is not the first time that the World Socialist Web Site’s Tamil-language Facebook page has been targeted by Facebook. On two separate occasions, Facebook removed the “share” option from public meetings promoted by the page.

The World Socialist Web Site has been a central target of internet censorship more broadly, with its search traffic falling by more than 75 percent after Google announced a change to its search algorithm aimed at limiting “alternative viewpoints.”

FACEBOOK is not our friend.  Un-friend them.  They are a corporation that tramples on the rights of the people.  They have never cared about anything but finding a way to profit from the use of your data. 

Don't think it's just Sri Lanka.  Alex Lantier reports:

On Monday, less than a week after he provoked disgust among working people in France and beyond, by praising France’s Nazi-collaborationist dictator, Philippe Pétain, French President Emmanuel Macron held meetings with Facebook to plan the censoring of social media in France.
At an official Forum for the Governance of the Internet at UNESCO in Paris, Macron argued that the world is on the brink of catastrophe due to the exercise of free speech on the internet. While the internet was initially a “fantastic opportunity,” he declared, now “it is also starting to be described as a threat to our democratic societies.”
Macron denounced “anonymity” online, warning that the “internet is being used in our democracies by totalitarian regimes to destabilize us.” He called on France to find a Third Way between a supposedly unregulated “California internet” and the heavily censored “Chinese internet.”
As a result, for six months starting at the beginning of 2019, French officials are to operate a joint program with Facebook giving them access to the tools that Facebook uses to censor “racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or sexist” speech. Macron added, “This is a first. It is a very innovative experimental method which illustrates the cooperative methods I support.”

This program is a fundamental assault on democratic rights. The target of Macron’s internet censorship campaign is not the threat posed by foreign totalitarian enemies or far-right hate speech, but domestic left-wing political opposition in general, and the World Socialist Web Site in particular.

FACEBOOK is no one's friend.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, November 14, 2018.  A UN official prepares to leave Iraq and issues a string of lies on his way out.

The United Nations notes:

In his last briefing as the top United Nations official in Iraq, Ján Kubiš updated the Security Council on the country’s post-election political settlement, commending the “exemplary peaceful transfer of power” between Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his successor, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who was sworn in at the end of October.
“The new Government intends to start immediately, particularly on the delivery of services and jobs, on reforming and energizing the economy, fighting corruption and administrative red-tape,” he said, calling on the international community for its continued support. “We must not let them down.”
He noted that during the government formation process, competition and differences had been “largely political and not sectarian,” calling it, “a break from the past.”

Pointing out that the main negotiations had been carried out by political factions including the influential cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr and Hadi al-Ameri on behalf of their respective Islah and Binaa blocks, Mr. Kubiš said it signified “that all of these primary partners and political forces now share a responsibility for creating an enabling environment for the new government to deliver on its programme, and for its stability.”

Well he had to praise something, right?

Peaceful transition?

Iraq held elections May 12th for a new government.  It's November 14th and the prime minister still doesn't have a full Cabinet -- despite forming a Cabinet being the only requirement to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister.

Six months after the elections and Iraq still doesn't have a full Cabinet.  22 posts and only 14 are filled.  Empty?  Empty includes Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior -- the two security posts.

Six months after the elections.

PM : We have formed a strong , and we will submit the names of the nominees for the remaining Cabinet posts to parliament soon



When Nouri al-Maliki failed/refused to have a Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior in his second term, what happened?  Oh, that's right, the rise of ISIS.  ISIS ended up seizing Mosul and other lands, seizing and controlling.

By all means, let's allow this pattern to be the one to follow.

At least there's no violence in Iraq right now, right?



Qatar expresses its strong condemnation and denunciation of the attack in Anbar province western Iraq, which led to the death of 9 people, reiterating its firm stance on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of motives and reasons.

Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) counts 25 dead in Tuesday's violence.

But, by all means, Jan Kubis, pull your Pebbles.

I'm out the door, babe.
There's other fish in the sea.

And Kunis is out the door but as for those fish in the sea . . .

This month thousands of fish turned up dead in Iraq.  Is it pollution?  No one knows.  But that didn't stop Kunis from insisting to the United Nations that Iraq is "a success, a positive story, in a region marked by many negative trends and developments."

A success?  A positive story?

Kunnis loves to lie.

إستمرار تسجيل حالات التسمم بالماء الملوث في قضاء "أبي الخصيب" في محافظة ؛ حيث تسجل المراكز الطبية من 100-200 حالة يومياً، وسط تجاهل من قبل حكومة للمشكلة.

That's IRAQI SPRING MC noting that the people drinking the water in Basra continue to be hospitalized.

Kubis attempts to lie as he has one foot out the door, trying to justify his failed term (Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will be replacing him).

In local are continuing to see 100 to 200 new cases of contaminated water daily in Abul Khasib district, whilst the Iraqi government is completely ignoring the problem

And, Kubis, why are they protesting in Basra?  Over the water, yes.  Also over the lack of jobs, the corruption, the poverty . . .  Who but Kubis would try to sell that as progress and success?

residents, who have been protesting to demand services and jobs, are disappointed with the new for not appointing any minister from Basra and call for the establishment of a Basra .

Amnesty International's Donatella Rovera responds to a recent FOREIGN POLICY article:

True that South has long been neglected & is in a mess. But not true that “the whole world” is focussed on rebuilding North . Ask the thousands of families in etc whose homes were bombed to dust & have received zero help.

Meanwhile the weather remains an issue in Iraq.  Right now, it's the rain.

Main streets in Baghdad and cities in the southern and central provinces in Iraq ;are drowned due to rainwater which shows the corruption on the infrastructure projects. .

The infrastructure has been allowed to decay (and it's been harmed by US bombings as well).  This despite the fact that the rainy season in Iraq means flooding and deaths.  In Sadr City (a section of Baghdad), for example, heavy rains mean standing water at least knee level.

In Basra, a young girl died because of the rains.

Iraqi girl falls into a street drain and dies because it had no cover. This is what happens when Western governments give foreign aid to a corrupt government. This is Basrah, the oil rich and wealthy city in Southern Iraq. No ISIS here, just corruption.

Killed by rain -- and corruption.  Don't forget the corruption.

But Kunis sees only success as he completes his term.  Which leaves the rest of us to wonder, how bad would it have to be for him to see failure?

Failure is what most will see, if they're honest.  Kunis is apparently unwilling or unable to be honest.

Bashdar Ismaeel (NEW ARAB) offers:

More than 15 years have gone by since the highly contentious invasion of Iraq. 

After the war, many had hoped to usher a new chapter, based on ethno-sectarian inclusion, democracy and prosperity, that could serve as a beacon of light for the greater Middle East. But the country quickly became bogged down by sectarian bloodshed, animosity, ubiquitous political wrangling and marginalisation.
During this period, Iraq has witnessed many false dawns and a range of excuses for the lack of stability, nation-building or improvement in standards of living. These have included the need to eradicate the imprint of Saddam Hussein and Baathism, navigating the rocky transition to Iraq's new democratic path, the US withdrawal in Iraq, foreign meddling, and most recently, the costly and deadly fight against the Islamic State (IS).
In the meantime, Iraq continually tops the charts as one of the most corrupt states in the world.
As new Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi works overtime to finalise a cabinet that can appease Iraq's fractured political divide and the many parties vying for power and influence, it is time for Iraqi politicians to take a long look at themselves, take accountability and finally deliver, instead of continuing to seek out excuses for Iraq's failures.
Iraq's recent parliamentary vote and historically low voter turnout sent a clear message from the public, one of fatigue and frustration with years of broken promises, sectarian policies and dwindling standards of living.
Ironically, while Iraq sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world, and is the second largest OPEC producer, many places such as Basra have seen basic services and the standard of living decline, culminating in mass protests in recent years.
While the battle against IS took centre stage from 2014, a factor often overlooked is the sectarian policies and the continuous disenfranchisement of the Sunni population that helped fuel their eventual rise.

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